Hey Rick, thank you for asking, it helps me think about bigger goals, so warning this post will be long. Our school features asynchronous classes but learning is not independent - teachers are attached to each class. These are British Columbia public education courses with expected completion 4 months, or for highly motivated / gifted students 1-2 months. What we're aiming to do:
1) Automate first line of intervention: cue students new to Moodle to realize they are not alone in their learning, and that they should message their teacher in Moodle. Clarify with the existing learners drifting off course that in distance learning, persistent activity is essential - there are so many kids new to distance learning this year due to covid, they need multiple rounds of reminder on forming daily study routines. Why automate the first message? Because it's repetitive: our teachers periodically filter participant lists for "active + 3 days inactive" in 8+ courses per teacher to find students who are not active, then send a standard message. Their time is better spent on particular versus generic tasks.
2) Enforce a rational support / intervention process flow: when kids are not where they should be, we need to first get parents involved, then counsellors and admin. There are various stages of intervention which include meeting with the student, or even dropping them from the course and trying a new program. Before involving others, we have to be able to say conclusively our teachers have done certain things - such as clarify course expectations, attempt to reach out to the student, provide remedial material, etc. This represents one small step in that larger checklist.
So, cue students to communicate, strengthen the network of support around students. We're definitely still learning and working on this.